TB: Yeah, I remember I was out there warming up for the game and he came over and he said, ‘Hey Tom, I’m Peyton.’
Q: What did you say to him?
TB: Obviously it’s something I probably couldn’t repeat but that was – we’ve become friends since. Andrew [Luck] is obviously playing very well and they’re 6-3 and they’re doing a great job and he’s had a great season. That’s part of the challenge this weekend.
Q: Will you go up to Andrew Luck and do the same thing Peyton Manning did to you and introduce yourself?
TB: I don’t know. We’ll see. Usually I don’t go out too early anymore. I tend to just keep to myself.
Q: How do you feel on turning the page on this rivalry from Peyton Manning to a new, young gun?
TB: My focus has been on what that defense does. It’s always the Colts defense and it’s always centered around two players and those two guys are still there. That’s really the challenge for us this week, is trying to figure out how to block that entire front. There are a lot of different looks from the last time we played them, trying to understand the scheme and how they’re doing things but they’re good and they really rush the passer and that’s a big challenge.
Q: Do you see a lot of similarities between the Colts and the Steelers, like Coach [Bill] Belichick does?
TB: If he says it, it must be true so I’d hate to disagree with him. I’ve just been trying to study what they do this year and try to focus on that. They’re playing really well. So, hopefully we play well.
Q: If you can think back to your rookie year, would the rookie
TB: It’s always challenging for those rookies. As a rookie, I was like fourth-string and eating nachos before the game in the stands. There wasn’t much of me thinking of playing. I always admire those rookies who can do it because it is such a challenge, whether you’re a defensive end like
Q: Can you relate to being a leader and a guy that is getting a lot of attention and being the focal point because you have to be in the huddle?
TB: Yeah, that’s part of the position as well. That happened, I had quite a few, 18 months, to develop camaraderie with the guys that I played with and it was a lot of time and practice and extra coaching sessions and so forth. For those rookies, coming right from college to this position is very challenging.
Q: How much confidence did you build from that first start against Indianapolis through the end of the season?
TB: I don’t remember that long ago. It doesn’t seem like that long ago but it does. But hopefully everyone improves over the course of a season, whether you’re a young player or a veteran player, that’s the goal. I feel like today, had a very good practice and now finally you really start to feel like you’re in the middle, it took however many games – four preseason and nine regular season and you’ve played 13 games – and you’re like, ‘Now I really start feeling good out there on every play.’ It’s just part of the NFL season.
TB: Yeah, he’s been competing hard out there. It’s good work for us. He’s been fun to have out there. I’ve had a few conversations with him. We’ll see, hopefully he can help.